If an injury leaves someone with paraplegia, that person’s life has changed forever. Someone who has paraplegia is paralyzed in the lower half of his or her body. That usually means an inability to walk, and it probably also means partial dependency on someone else for routine tasks like getting dressed. Paraplegia can also result in serious psychological and emotional issues, not to mention further physical complications. It can also end or dramatically change a victim’s career.
Damage to the spinal cord is the most common cause of paraplegia. These types of injuries can happen virtually anywhere, but some of the most common accidents resulting in paraplegia include car accidents, falls and sports and recreation accidents. If you’ve suffered paraplegia in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you need an lawyer who is experienced in representing personal injury victims in Texas. You need an attorney like Kevin Krist.
Facts About Paraplegia
Paraplegia is a form of paralysis that is usually caused by damage to the spinal cord. The results can range from a person’s losing feeling in the lower portion of his or her body to not being able to use or feel his or her legs at all. The degree to which a person with a catastrophic spinal cord injury will experience these complications is relative to the severity and location of his or her injuries.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has documented some quality-of-life components that are frequently affected by a traumatic injury that results in paralysis. They include:
- Physical function and independence
- Emotional wellbeing
- Relationships and social function
- Physical wellbeing.
One aim of the NIH study that documented these effects was to provide healthcare professionals with information they could use in order to enhance quality of life for people with paraplegia. The implications of paraplegia extend beyond the injury itself. Paraplegia keeps a person from being independent, but it could also cost a person his or her job and even a social and romantic life.
In addition to the loss of fine and gross motor skills, paraplegia can also lead to the deterioration of other body systems and can increase a person’s likelihood of developing other conditions. Some complications of paraplegia include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- Respiratory infections
- Coronary heart disease
- Autonomic dysreflexia
- Pressure sores (bedsores)
Paraplegics can often be plagued by chronic severe pain and muscle spasms. Paraplegia might also lead to extreme physical inactivity, which could cause a person’s blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) to elevate. That elevation puts a person at a higher risk of heart disease. The mental strain of not being able to live as he or she once did might also increase a paraplegic person’s likelihood of becoming depressed.
Some Causes of Paraplegia
A number of injuries can cause trauma to a person’s spine and result in paraplegia. The Mayo Clinic has listed some of the most common causes of spinal cord injury in the United States, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports and recreational activities.
Car and motorcycle accidents account for more than 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries. Acts of violence account for 15 percent of spinal injuries, while sports and recreation (such as diving into a shallow public pool where no depth markers were visible) are factors in 8 percent of such accidents. Falls are most common among people age 65 and over and account for more than a quarter of all spinal cord injuries.
Financial Impacts of Paraplegia
Paraplegia does much more than just diminish a person’s quality of life and independence. Throughout a person’s lifetime, the costs associated with paraplegia can top thousands of dollars – perhaps even millions. Some of the expenses can include:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Caregiver costs
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Housing and vehicle modifications to accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment.
If someone else’s negligence was to blame for the spinal injury that resulted in paraplegia, an injured victim could be entitled to compensation for past and future medical costs and lost wages, as well as for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Contact Houston Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Kevin Krist Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious accident that resulted in paraplegia in southeast Texas, including Houston, Harris County, Pasadena, Katy, Baytown, Sugar Land, Conroe and League City, contact Kevin Krist today for a free consultation about your case.
Simply call the Law Office of Kevin Krist at 713-284-1660 or use the firm’s online form. Let Kevin Krist tell you how he can put his personal, proven experience to work for you and your family. Kevin Krist represents personal injury victims on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees unless he recovers compensation on your claim.